Swieqi Overseas defence shuts down Kavallieri

This Mediterranean Bank Cup game was all about defence, as Swieqi Overseas ran out the winners against a determined Kavallieri team, that however had their attacking flair stifled.

Overseas were just too strong for Kavallieri. Photo by Ian Aquilina
Overseas were just too strong for Kavallieri. Photo by Ian Aquilina

By Bryan Corlett

Overseas 35 - Kavallieri 5

It was perfect weather for rugby, with only a slight breeze blowing with overcast conditions. Kavallieri needed a win, after losing to Sliema Stompers by a few points, but Swieqi Overseas, after toppling Stompers and then Falcons in their last games, were looking to drive their advantage home.

From a kick off that went too long, Overseas went on the attack getting a scrum at the half way. That first scrum was a monster from Overseas, as they pushed Kavallieri backwards and won a penalty.

Overseas ran the ball and worked the ball right then left, going through the hands to Vince Stivala (13) and he scored to the left of the posts on 5 minutes and with Duchange (12) adding the conversion, it was Overseas 7 Kavallieri 0.

In that first half, Overseas had to endure wave upon wave of pressure, as Kavallieri attacked their line, but their defence was determined, not allowing Kavallieri to get good ball to their speedy wingers Bedarhan (20) Rossi (11) or later Imbroll (14) when he came on, closing them down when they did receive it. Edmunds missed a penalty at goal, which would have raised his team’s confidence, after attacking for so long without a score.

Michael Bonavia (7) for Kavallieri was turning ball over in the tackle and winning the lineouts, but his team could not break out of the Overseas’ defensive shackles. Overseas’ substitute Mumphisda (19) was yellow carded for not releasing the tackled player, so he was out of the game for 10 minutes.

So at half time the score remained the same.7 to 0.

With only six minutes on the clock in the second half, a Kavallieri dropped pass was kicked through by Stivala (13) and he got a favourable bounce and scored to the right of the posts, with another conversion by Duchange (12), and it was now 14 nil to Overseas.

There were some big hits going in from both sides as the tempo of the game rose, with both teams looking to score, a couple of head high tackles were penalised. Overseas Captain Anthony Harvey (3) was having an excellent game with some charging runs and ripping the ball in the tackle.

Also Clayton Cassar (8), Danny Delia (5) Guillaume Pijoan (4) were having strong games in attack and defence. The front row for Overseas, De Bono (1), Hill (2) and Harvey (3) were impressive.

 On the Kavallieri side Nicholai Grech (4) Mark Cortis (6) and Bonavia (7) were having busy games, trying to get their team going forward.

Duchange (13) is first yellow carded, then Red carded for back chatting Referee Killian O’Brien, he didn’t realise that the Referee could understand French.

Kavallieri attack again and have several lineouts near the Overseas line, but again the Overseas defence closes them down. Then from a break out near their 22, Vince Stivala (13) ran 60 metres down the touchline and around the last line of defence to score, he converted the try to make it  Overseas 21 Kavallieri 0.

Almost immediately Stivala was yellow carded for a head high tackle and for a period of 10 minutes Overseas are down to 13 men against 15. During this period Kavallieri scored with Milan Susnjara (9) running around a ruck close to the line. Overseas 21 Kavallieri 5.

If Kavallieri had played smart at this point and gone through the phases with a bit of patience they could have scored again, but poor options and dropped passes killed their two-man advantage.

Debiere (23) had a good run from fullback streaking down the line 50 metres, but his offload was knocked on. Stivala scored his fourth try under the posts, with another kick through that bounced over the line for him to score.

With their tails up Overseas scored again, with a strong run up the middle to have Danny Delia (5) score under the posts and Corcoran’s conversion made the final score: Overseas 35 Kavallieri 5. The Overseas defence shut out the Kavallieri on the day.

Man of the Match: Vince Stivala (13)

Other scores: Stompers 35 Falcons 15.

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